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Tech Deals on Black Friday: What to Buy and What to Re/sist

Choose carefully among the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

It’s tempting to take advantage of the many deals that are offered at stores today, but just because something is deeply discounted doesn’t mean you should necessarily take the plunge. Below we’ve highlighted a few of the best tech deals around — as well as some things you should consider before you buy.

If you find more deals you think are noteworthy while you’re out at stores, feel free to drop me a line at


Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 can be found for as much as $150 off at Microsoft stores. A 128-gigabyte model with an Intel Core i5 processor is now $899, marked down from a thousand bucks, while the 256GB model with a Core i7 chip is marked down from $1,549 to $1399. The upside? It has a touchscreen and can be used as a tablet. The downside? Re/code’s Katie Boehret didn’t love it when she reviewed it, and the Type Cover keyboard is still sold separately, for $130.


If you’re shopping for an Android-based Samsung tablet, you’re in luck. Many stores are selling Samsung tabs at reduced prices: The 16GB, 10.5-inch Galaxy Tab S, the company’s thinnest and lightest tablet, is selling for $400 (down from $500), the 16GB, 10-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 is marked down to $250 and the seven-inch Galaxy Tab 3 can be found for as little $100. The upside? The Galaxy Tab S’s Super AMOLED display is one of the most brilliant on the market. The downside? Our own Walt Mossberg found the software to be bloated and somewhat confusing — proving once again that the simplicity of the iPad really can’t be beat.


If you’re itching for an iPhone 6, then you might actually want to consider rushing to a big-box retailer today: Sams’s Club and Walmart will sell the 16GB iPhone 6 for a reduced price. Sam’s Club is offering it for $99 with a two-year contract, while Walmart will sell it for $179 and throw in a $75 gift card. The upside? It’s the iPhone 6 at a discount. The downside? You’ll have to deal with the madness of Black Friday at a big-box retailer — and another two-year contract.

Media Boxes

The Roku streaming stick, normally $50, is now marked down to $40, while the Roku LT box is just $30. The upside? The Roku LT, which is an older model, and the Roku stick offer the same 1800 channels that the other Rokus have. The downside? Google’s Chromecast stick and Amazon’s Fire TV stick can be found online for less.


The $79 Kindle-with-special-offers (which means, it shows ads) is now just $49, while the Kindle Paperwhite has been marked down to $99 from $119. The upside? You really can’t go wrong with most Kindles. The downside? The full-featured, top-of-the-line Kindle Voyage is still $199.


Misfit Wearables is offering its Shine and Flash wristbands for 50 percent off today and Cyber Monday. The upside? The Flash now costs just $25. The downside? Misfit’s signature design, which includes a circle of flashing LED lights that indicate activity levels and time of day, isn’t our favorite of the activity-tracking styles.

Other recent markdowns include the Jawbone Up24, now $30 less at $100; the Fitbit Flex, which can be found at Walmart and Best Buy for $70 and $80, respectively; and the Garmin Vivofit, which is available online for $80. Keep in mind, even more activity trackers and wrist wearables are expected to come to market in the next few months, so we haven’t seen the last of the discounts.


Black Friday often provides a much-needed boost for the TV industry, and this year it looks like 4K will be a highly sought-after feature. There are too many steals out there to list succinctly here, but keep this in mind as you shop: Whatever TV you purchase, you’re likely not going to replace it for the next seven years, so think hard about whether a curved display is something you really want (or double-check the store’s return policy on TVs, in case you take it home and determine you prefer a flat screen). Also, those really expensive OLED displays? They’ll likely come down even more in price in the future.

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